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Finding Consolation With My Console

It’s been over a week since my last post, and that’s mainly because I’ve been reticent to go near my PC lately. As I mentioned on the MySpace, it’s started to play up again. Nothing absolutely major, but every time I start it up, my NVidia display drivers warn me that my graphics card isn’t getting enough power. Why this is, I don’t know; it was getting enough when I had a 460-Watt PSU installed and the new one’s a 550-Watt model. I plan to open the case, check the connections and give the insides a good de-dusting very soon.

As a result, I’ve been spending a bit more time on the Xbox 360. I think I’m getting addicted to it, especially Burnout: Revenge. I’d be more secretive after my most recent posting, but any of the various sites that break down Xbox Live profiles clearly indicate, that I’m playing it anyway (I donated Burnout 3 to Karl). It’s bags of fun, and I’ve been kicking Vickie and Brook out of the lounge room whenever there’s not much on TV so I can play another event (a single challenge over a particular circuit) or two and maybe knock another achievement over (my current goal is to get Perfect ratings on all the Unsafe events). I even hopped online after walking the dogs this morning for a quick set of races. It’s starting to worry me, not the least because if I keep it up Vickie will undoubtedly feel compelled to apply some violent detox…

Addiction issues aside, the game itself is an interesting experience, as a lot of my Burnout 3 skills no longer apply. The tracks are a shiteload more complex, with jumps and shortcuts; the opposing cars in Road Rages are much more resistant to being run off the road; traffic checking encourages driving in the legal side of the road, introduces a high-speed snooker element to gameplay (compact car in the top right corner pocket) and encourages you to lay off the nitro.

Noteworthy is that I had to do a little network juggling in order to get Xbox live working properly. The key is what's called "port forwarding", essentially instructing our router to forward any traffic addressed to a particular network "port" - sort of a connection within a given network connection - to a particular PC. Whenever we switch our PCs on, our router normally assigns them an IP address out of its pool of free addresses (a "dynamic IP address") so they can talk to it and each other. In order to make port forwarding work, though, I needed to give each of our PCs a specific, unchanging address (a "static IP address"). This hadn't worked too well in the past, and I think that may have been because I was taking addresses in the lower end of the available range; on the advice of a website called portforward.com I set our PCs (and the Xbox 360) up with later addresses. So far, everything's been working fine.

Interestingly, though, my Xbox Live headset doesn’t seem to work with Revenge. I show up on the player list as having voice enabled, but nothing I say gets picked up. Very odd, especially as I’ve had successful voice chats via Live with evilhayama in Sydney whilst playing Gears of War.

Still, now that my PC has a static address I ought to be able to host private games of Dawn of War. Well, as soon as I fix whatever the hell else is wrong with my PC now...

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